The civic administration has proposed to the state government that all schools in the city registered with all types of education boards be brought under its purview.
Currently 11,902 schools in the city that include municipal schools, aided schools, private aided schools and private unaided schools, are under the scrutiny of the corporation.
If the state government approves this proposal, all schools registered with Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), International General Certification of Secondary Education (IGCSE), International Baccalaureate (IB), and other boards will also have to submit to the BMC’s inspections.
The Right to Education Act (RTE) clearly says the local body should ensure that every student from age 6 to 14 is given proper education. This responsibility has been entrusted to us irrespective of the board, said additional municipal commissioner Mohan Adtani. He added, the Act also states that the local body must also ensure that all schools are compliant with the norms of the RTE. For inspection of all schools in the city, we need to bring them under the purview of the BMC.
Mayor Sunil Prabhu said, Just as all the English, Hindi, Marathi, and Urdu-medium SSC schools are under the control of the BMC, so also we want all the ICSE and CBSE schools to come under the control of the BMC. These schools are in the city limits and but it is a shame that we cannot monitor them. Prabhu said, the BMC should be allowed to conduct inspections to see if the schools flout norms or are found conducting illegal activities. Presently, there are no checks on them.We should be given the authority to cancel their registration if found guilty.
Jayant Jain, president of the Forum for Fairness in Education welcomed the move. There is nothing wrong with wanting to bring these schools under the purview but there should be clarity on how far-reaching is this control. Currently, when we need to complain against a certain CBSE, ICSE, IGSCE or IB school, we do not know who to approach as the BMC cannot do anything and the state government does not act, said Jain.
Grace Mathais, principal of ICSE school Queen Mary, Grant Road, Deepshikha Srivastava, principal of Rajhans Vidyalaya, Andheri and Avnita Bir, principal of CBSE school R N Podar declined to comment on the issue.